Ihsan Trust was established as an independentTrust (Waqf) in 2010 with the vision to create a poverty free society on the principles of equality and compassion. Their missions is to reach out and help the poor and needy according to the principles of Islam and take care/look after the wellbeing of poor and needy and to encourage the socio economic uplift of the low income community in order to increase the economic prosperity of the society, ultimately contributing towards the betterment of Pakistan and Ummah. Its aims and objectives are to raise the standard of living of under privileged, downtrodden, neglected sections of the population and low income group, with a strategic approach for developing a sustainable system for the welfare of these neglected segments, helping the society as a whole. The core activities are: 1) Qarze Hasna (Interest Free Loan) facility for Higher Education 2) Educational & Skill Development, 3) Rural Development, 4) Health & Hygiene, 5) Immediate relief to the affectees of any natural disaster/ calamity, 6) Rehabilitation and other community building services, 7) Establishment and operation of orphanages, 8) Providing funds for the marriage of poor girls, 9) Assist indebted poor people and 10) Islamic Microfinance. Its Board of Trustees comprises of eminent personalities like Dr. Muhammad Imran Ashraf Usmani, Mufti Naveed Alam, Mr. Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, Dr. Zeeshan Ahmed, Mr. Kamal Mian and Mr. Suleman Muhammad Ali, Followings are excerpts from an exclusive interview with Mr. Fayyaz-ur-Rehman Khan – General Manager Ihsan Trust.
PAGE: What is the prime focus of Ihsan Trust?
Fayyaz-ur-Rehman: One of the major focuses of the Trust is providing Qarz-e-Hasna (interest free loan) facility for the education to the needy and deserving students of major and leading universities of Pakistan. Through this scheme, Ihsan Trust bears the educational expenses of the students purely on “Need cum Merit” basis in order to enable them to complete their higher education. The repayment policy for the Qarz-e-Hasna is very simple. The amount sanctioned for a selected student depends on his/her need and eligibility. During the study period, the student has to pay a mutually agreed nominal token repayment amount (depending upon the financial position of the candidate, his/her parents/guardians monthly income) on a monthly regular basis to the Ihsan Trust as repayment. This is to develop the repayment habit in the student. After the completion of his/her education, the repayment amount for the Qarz-e-Hasna is to be adjusted according to the income of the student.
PAGE: Does the Trust contact student or student contacts the Trust?
Fayyaz: In order to proceed with the sanctioning of Qarz-e-Hasna to the students, Ihsan Trust has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with various institutes and universities across Pakistan. As per the MoU, educational institutions initially select and shortlist the candidates for this scheme, then forwarded to the Ihsan Trust which after proper analysis of the documents conducts the interviews of the candidates to assess their exact need and requirement of financial assistance. Then managing trustees finally approves the student for this Qarz-e-Hasna facility and the funds of the Qarz-e-Hasna are transferred to the university account on the behalf of the student. Nothing, not a single penny is given in the hands of the selected students.Monthly token repayment from the student starts from the very next month. Throughout this process, the university helps and assists Ihsan Trust by awareness campaigns, ensuring timely repayments by the students and acting as an intermediary between the Trust and the students.
PAGE: Would you like to talk about some major arrangements?
Fayyaz: Ihsan Trust signed MoU with The Citizen Foundation (TCF) in 2010 to provide funds for the scholarship of 100 TCF alumni pursuing intermediate education. TCF is a professionally managed, non-profit organization set up in 1995 by a group of citizens concerned with the dismal state of education in Pakistan. It is now one of Pakistan’s leading organizations in the field of formal education, TCF is a professionally managed, non-profit organization set up in 1995 by a group of citizens concerned with the dismal state of education in Pakistan. It is now one of Pakistan’s leading organizations in the field of formal education. Ihsan Trust is also the biggest supporter, financier and partner of IBA’s National Talent Hunt Program (NTHP) and because of its continued collaboration and support, since 2017 onwards, the program has been renamed as “IBA Ihsan Trust National Talent Hunt Program.” So far, Ihsan Trust has disbursed approximately Rs100 million to the NTHP with the aim to provide quality higher education to those who do not have the means or access to it and up till now 179 students have qualified for IBA’s Bachelors Program through Ihsan Trust’s support. Not only Ihsan Trust provides the Program Management cost but also the Orientation Program cost, besides providing financial assistance to the selected students of this Program.
PAGE: Tell us about some grass root project.
Fayyaz: Although, Ihsan Trust’s core area of working is the Education sector with emphasis on providing Qarz e Hasna (interest free Loan) facility for higher education, besides this, Ihsan Trust is always striving for filling the gaps, providing the missing resources (be it in the form of equipment or financial resources) also to various public sector school and colleges in the education sector (besides schools run by charitable organization/NGOs). Ihsan Trust has provided sponsorship to 150 students of Britainnica School located in Surjani Town in Karachi for one year and has also provided copies (notebooks) to 250 needy students of the school. The ceremony to hand over the cheques of these initiatives by IhsanTrust took place in Britainnica School Surjani Town on Sept 10, 2013. Waleed Khan of Ihsan Trust highlighted the joint collaboration and other initiatives of Ihsan Trust to the entire team of Britainnica School. The efforts of Britanica School to make remote area children literate and educate are highly commendable. Ihsan Trust is proud to be the part of this noble cause and play its part in providing education to the poor and needy as per its mission and objective. Nasim Memorial Educational & Welfare Society established in 1983, is running the Britainnica School with the efforts of philanthropist Ms. Yasmin Nigar, who has been running the school in order to provide quality education to the poor children of Surjani Town and Gulistan-e-Johar. Most of the children studying in these schools belong to very poor families. But the entire team of Ms. Yasmin is doing great job in imparting education to them. Although, Britainnica School have been providing the best possible facilities to the children with their own efforts, the costs are rising and the resources are shrinking. Britainnica facing a severe problem of providing copies, uniforms, etc. to the poor students (these things are provided free of charge to the poor students) and payments of utility bills etc. They approached Ihsan Trust, which agreed to join hands with them in the noble cause.
Ihsan Trust’s core area of working is the education sector with emphasis on providing Qarz e Hasna (Interest Free Loan) facility for higher education. Besides this, Ihsan Trust is always striving for filling the gaps, providing the missing resources (be it in the form of equipment or financial resources) also to various public sector school and colleges in the Education sector (besides schools run by charitable organization/NGOs), in the form of public private partnership. Just like last year, our recent endeavor has been done with Government Degree College Malir Cantonment, Karachi, where the Trust has provided the chairs for the College’s new B.Com Part I class. This is the first time in the history of college that B. Com classes are commencing. Previously, only I.Com classes were being conducted but from this year 2017, B. Com classes are also being commenced with the first batch of B.Com Part I class. The College administration had requested Ihsan Trust to provide them the required furniture i.e. classroom sitting chairs for the new BCom class as there was severe lack of chairs for the students to sit on and attend the classes easily and efficiently. On this request, IT immediately decided to help the College by providing them the required chairs instantly and in this week (March 2017), fifty (50) wooden, durable class room sitting chairs were provided to the college so that the students could take their classes with utmost ease and comfort.
PAGE: Has the efforts of Ihsan Trust recognized internationally?
Fayyaz: Ihsan Trust has received the Global “Islamic Economy Award 2017” in the category of “Waqf and Endowment” in recognition of its efforts to provide interest free loans to deserving students for higher education. His Excellency Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, presented the award to Ihsan Trust, at a ceremony held in Dubai. Ahmed Ali Siddiqui received the award on behalf of Ihsan Trust.